I always thought it would have been amazing to have grown up in the 1950s, 1960s, or 1970s, but I have to say, coming of age in the 1990s was a lot of fun.
We were the last generation to grow up without cell phones or the Internet and we had to be creative and make our own fun.
And that’s what we did!
But I’m sure our parents thought we were lazy and dumb, anyway…it’s just the way the world works.
Folks on AskReddit talk about the important things they grew up with that younger generations won’t experience. Let’s take a look.
1. Did you see Wayne’s World yet?
“Everyone saw the same movies and stuff at the same time on the same night.
So we all had common talking points at school the next day/Monday.”
2. Big time.
“Mix Tapes on cassette.
The agony, the ecstasy, the cross-fade.”
3. The old days.
“Trying to call someone for a date and having to speak to their parents first.
There was usually only one home phone.”
4. Had to be creative.
“Having to spend a whole day, pretty much alone, at your grandma’s with no internet and basically nothing on TV.
You yourself had to figure out of entertainment and find fascination in the world around you. So what did I do, I read books, looked for small animals under rocks, mats, in ditches, looked for blueberries in the forest, climbed trees, practiced free throws, hit nails in pieces of wood with a hammer the list is endless.
Point is doing stuff like it is very important for the development of the brain and for better understanding of the world around you and for learning self sufficiency.”
5. I miss arcades.
“Legit arcades. Not the ticket redeeming variety.
And the smell of used cigarettes (burn marks in the control panels) and moldy carpets that came with it.
Added to the experience ironically.”
6. Keep your fingers crossed.
“Waking up early to watch the news to see if there was a school delay/cancelation.”
7. Little black book.
“Carrying a notebook handwritten with the phone numbers of all my friends and family.
That, plus actually having to remember phone numbers.”
8. Raised on the radio.
“The excitement of hearing your favorite band or a current song you love on the radio.
The wait, the anticipation, then the utter JOY.
That, and also when radio used to play in order the day’s top requested songs.
My cousins would wait and wait and then rejoice when Duran Duran again had the top requested song.”
9. We’re done here!
“Slamming the receiver into the cradle after a heated phone call.
Slamming it so hard into the receiver you ding the ringer a little.
My folks’ phone did that at least.”
10. The best!
“Waking up at 8 in the morning on Saturdays to watch cartoons.
Taught me diligence and punctuality because cartoons would run until noon (at least on the channel I was watching them).
So if I overslept then that meant I missed my cartoons for the week.”
11. I remember it well.
“Being 100% unreachable.
No cell phones. No way to find you unless you told them where you’d be.
If I missed your call, it was just accepted I wasn’t at home and not ignoring you.”
12. I think I got it.
“Trying to memorize my friend’s phone number on the walk home from school so that we could tell each other if we got permission from our parents to have a sleepover.”
13. All summer long.
“Riding bikes all day until the sun went down without any contact whatsoever with parents.
We used to do that all the time in the summer. My mom had a big brass dinner bell, and she’s just go out on the back porch and ring it when it was time to come home. You could hear it from several blocks away.
So once it was starting to get close to dinner time, we just moved to within range of the bell. We’d still pretend we didn’t hear it the first couple times she rang it, of course, but that’s the way of the road!”
14. The anticipation!
“Waiting for a monthly magazine to arrive in order to get more reading material on a hobby/special interest.”
15. This is a big one.
“The ability to make mistakes without someone recording it.
Imagine not being able to make a horrific mistake, be lucky enough that the consequences aren’t too awful, and being able to move on with your life and reflect on it later.
One of the biggest lessons I spout for my kids is, “don’t do anything that other people will make you regret in 30 years”.”
16. All kinds of mischief.
“I am so glad I grew up without cell phones.
I could run and hide with my friends. I could do stupid sh*t and we could all laugh about it later. My words and thoughts weren’t recorded.
I wasn’t constantly judged on every social media platform.”
17. No kidding!
“Concerts before cell phones.
It was glorious.
I miss going to see a band when no one had a cell phone.”
18. It used to be like this.
“True freedom. Walk out the door and cannot be contacted.
Hanging in a neighborhood where everyone knows everyone.”
19. Critical thinking.
“Using encyclopedias and old books to finish your homework.
Well, not all information was written on them so you have to fill the gaps by using multiple reference materials, and analyzing the information you have already gathered.
Those days taught me to think critically, be patient and resourceful.”
20. Play it all the way through.
“Having a massive collection of CDs and listening to them straight through as albums.
Nobody does that as much anymore.”
21. One of my favorite things.
“Browsing VHS tapes ( and then later DVDs) at the local rental stores.”
22. Put the phone down.
“Parents not trying to document every aspect of your life on a smart phone/social media.
Parents would capture a few moments on a disposable camera, sure, but they would still embrace it.”
23. Patience and precision.
“I remember back to when personal cassette players didn’t have a rewind button. You had to turn the cassette over and fast forward to try to rewind to where you wanted.
You needed patience and precision.
Can you imagine even trying to describe that to a kid now?”
“Being a free range kid growing up in suburbia.
Spending all day playing, exploring getting into all sorts of predicaments and not being in contact with parents until the street lights started coming on.”
25. Is it my turn yet?
“Having to share a computer with siblings.
They were not cheap like they are now. There weren’t tablets or inexpensive netbooks.
It was like $500+ PCs or higher for macs and that’s it.”
26. Just be bored for a while.
“The ability to be bored.
My parents rarely cared if we had an activity or something to do every second of every day. I’ve noticed now that kids are heavily and almost overscheduled or constantly having something put in front of their face to keep them occupied.
I can patiently wait in a doctor’s waiting room, or in line somewhere, on in the car without immediately pulling out my phone. I can entertain myself with my own thoughts and imagination. A lot of kids today cannot do the same and it makes me sad.”
27. Did you hear what happened?!?!
“Not being able to verify each others bullsh*t with photos, videos and googling as kids…
Like when you hears stories about kid x in school y in the town over who did outrageous thing Z
Or you hear a rumor about a band, movie star, video game or something that you really hope is or isn’t true but have to wait and see if it makes the news.
Or the kid who confidently states that X is illegal or legal or his dad/mom/older sibling has/did (insert cool thing here).
It taught me critical thinking skills and the ability to sense bullsh*t which my kids and a lot of their peers really seem to struggle with – the “if it’s on the internet it must be true” mentality reigns.
I try to teach my kids to trust but verify, research your sources etc but confirmation bias is hard to overcome.”
“Not getting everything instantly. It taught me patience and hard work.
Want to find the meaning of a word? You have to search using a dictionary or encyclopedia.
Want to watch a movie again on the VHS? You have to rewind it. Same goes for using a cassette tape. It’s really fun manually rewinding those.
Want to talk to a family or friend abroad? Write letters, send it via snail mail, and wait for a long time to get a response. I miss the excitement of getting a letter.
Want to watch your favorite anime or show? You have to wait daily for the new episode on TV. No binge watching. If you’re going to miss it, you can record it on a blank VHS (my grandma did this for the ending of Rosalinda).
Need to make a collage for a project? You have to find old magazines or newspapers to cut out.
Need to make a book review? You actually need to read the book instead of just looking for the sunnary online.
Need to contact a friend? You need to memorize their telephone numbers at home or put it in a slam book with other fun details.
I know that technology made things easier for us in general, but it also made kids nowadays to be really impatient.”
Now we want to hear from all of you out there.
What will younger generations never get to experience that you did growing up?
Talk to us in the comments!